If you think everyday dwarf hamsters are small, wait till you the babies! They are so tiny and delicate it is an amazing thing to see. But because they are so delicate, bringing up baby dwarf hamsters from birth and caring for these newborns is very different from caring for dwarf hamsters after they’ve reached the one month mark (at this point they are able to live without a mother’s nursing and can be cared for the same as an adult).
The first stage of caring for a newborn is the leave-it-to-the-mom stage. When a baby dwarf hamster has just been born, you can look, but don’t touch! They are so small and delicate that you should leave them alone. Don’t even change the cage. This don’t touch policy isn’t solely because of the babies though. Once a dwarf hamster mother has given birth, she is in a very protective and, to be frank, crazy state of mind. So you just want to leave her alone and let her do her thing.
Dwarf hamster mothers are so confused from the birthing process they’ll sometimes go as far as to eat their babies so you don’t want to disturb her any further, not even by cleaning the cage. Although you won’t be able to handle the babies just yet, you can still enjoy looking at these beautiful creatures. The cool part about brand new dwarf hamster babies is that they are actually see-through! They don’t gain color until after a few days and after about a week they will begin to grow fur. A couple more days after that (about ten days from birth) they will start to open their eyes and crawling around and at this point the leave-it-to-the-mom stage is over and you can finally start to handle the babies.
When you start handling the babies, you should handle them very delicately and only for very short periods of time. Handling baby hamsters is important because it will help tame them and get them used to you but it is just as important to start out slowly. Pay close attention to the mother, she might be overly protective and get angry if her babies are handled. If this happens you may want to back off for a bit. Also, when handling the babies, watch out, because they could be very skittish and you definitely don’t want to drop them, especially as fragile newborns. Another characteristic to note about the ten day mark is that at this age, baby dwarf hamsters will be old enough start to drinking from the water bottle. They’ll still be going through the nursing process but it marks the first step of independence from the mother.
The next landmark in the growth of baby dwarf hamsters is the point at which they begin eating regular portions of food. This happens around the age of fourteen days. At this point they should be given regular portions of food such as oats, oatmeal, wheat germ, or small bird seeds. You must feed baby dwarf hamsters fresh and healthy foods for healthy growth. Small grains are best to get them growing quickly and healthily. Over time the mother will nurse the baby dwarf hamsters less and less and eventually they will get all their food on their own, no longer nursing, and drinking solely from the water bottle.
When baby dwarf hamsters are about a month old, they should be fully weaned and ready to live on their own. It is important, as always, to separate the males from the females. From here on out, you no longer need to treat these babies as babies and you can care for them as you would an adult.